No advertiser wants to bombard consumers with their messaging, let alone with the exact same creative over and over again. Samba found that, in some instances, that’s exactly what is happening.
For example, in an average week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this past year, households exposed to linear TV ads from retail giant Walmart saw an average of 42 of them. This summer, Samba also found that one U.S. fast food brand delivered the same ad to the same linear viewers an average of 85 times from July to September 2021.
The cause of this issue, according to Samba, is the TV industry’s reliance on legacy models to calculate gross rating points, or GRPs. But the wider adoption of a “transparent model based off of reach and frequency would be a solid and fairly easy first step to take for the industry to address the current duplication and waste in TV advertising,” Strain said.
He breaks it down like this: A campaign that reaches 10 people two times in a week would return a GRP report of 20 points, which seems to be a best-case scenario for many marketers. But in reality, if that same campaign just reached one person 20 times, old-school models would likewise show 20 gross rating points.
“This is why it has become table stakes to move beyond the current outdated approach and move to independently reported reach and frequency metrics that transparently tell the whole story,” he said.
The general decline of linear audience sizes notwithstanding, many streamers and broadcast networks alike have been moving to remedy such measurement issues recently. This has especially taken place over the past year, after repeated errors by Nielsen, long considered the measurement business’s top dog, spurred the video industry at large to fast-track commitments to alternative currencies and holistic reach models.
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Analysis by measurement company TVSquared in December found that Tubi, Fox Entertainment’s ad-supported streaming platform, delivers a uniquely different audience—including many consumers that brands may have missed—than linear TV and other AVOD services.
That study, which marked the official recognition of TVSquared as a certified measurement partner of Tubi, found that between 84% and 95% of Tubi-watching households were incremental to linear broadcast and cable TV buys for entertainment, automotive and consumer packaged goods brands.
In fact, TVSquared’s data for one sports beverage brand found that as much as 95% of its Tubi audience hadn’t been reached with linear TV advertising.
Even Nielsen, pointed to by many smaller rivals as the age-and-gender demo dinosaur that advertisers should shift away from, has made strides in measuring individual ads on linear TV—a capability marketers have been asking for for at least 15 years.
Mostly considered a stepping stone to its cross-platform Nielsen One offering, which may be ready in 2024, the company’s new Individual Commercial Metrics are expected to launch in the first half of this year, marking a significant expansion that builds on its current C3 measurement standard. C3 is widely used today as a currency for TV deals and is based on average ratings for all commercials in any given program, rather than on the individual ads.
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